August is Clear The Shelters Month! One of the few bright spots of the pandemic was seeing shelters empty for the first time as people rushed out to adopt pets. We’d love to keep that trend going! A local New Orleans, LA vet delves into shelters, and offers some ways to help empty them, in this article.
A New Holiday
Clear The Shelters Day is a joint effort between NBC and Telemundo stations, who are teaming up with animal shelters across the country. Many celebrities are also getting on board! Lisa Vanderpump and Fran Drescher have both shared personal shelter pet adoption stories.
Looking at the numbers of shelter pets can be quite sobering, if not outright heartbreaking. About 6 million pets enter shelters every year. Dogs and cats make up a pretty even split of the majority, but they aren’t the only animals to end up in shelters: birds, bunnies, Guinea pigs, hamsters, and other animal companions are also present in those numbers. Sadly, about 920,000 are euthanized each year. While that is a pretty horrific number, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: that figure has declined significantly in recent years. In 2011, about 2.6 animals were euthanized. What’s driving that change? For one thing, more animals are being returned to their owners. Adoption numbers are also on the rise, as more people become aware of how beneficial (and wonderful) pets can be for us.
Want to help this wonderful cause? The best option is to adopt a shelter pet! Of course, that isn’t the right move for everyone. You can also chip in by donating money or supplies, volunteering at a local adoption event, or perhaps hosting your own charity event, such as a yard sale, with proceeds benefiting a participating shelter.
There are also things you can do to help reduce the number of pets in shelters. First on the list? Get Fido and Fluffy fixed, so they don’t contribute to the problem with unplanned litters. Making sure your furry buddy is microchipped is important as well. We also recommend keeping cats indoors, and keeping dogs leashed when they aren’t in fenced-in areas.
Have you recently adopted a shelter pet? Contact us, your local New Orleans, LA animal clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!